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Welcome to The Screenwriting Life. Join us as professional screenwriters, Meg LeFauve and Lorien McKenna, whose combined credits include writing and production on such films as Inside Out, The Good Dinosaur and Captain Marvel discuss the craft, journey and business of writing for the screen. From dialogue to delivery, Meg and Lorien will guide you through the process, offering inside tips and tricks to help you become the best writer you can be. Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/thescr ...
 
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Hi All! We're BACK with another greatest hits episode featuring some of our industry's best television writers. Today, you'll hear from: TSL TV Writers - best of Javier Grillo-Marxuach (ep 46) Sam Bain (ep 62) Marti Noxon (ep 40) Shantira Jackson and Dewayne Perkins (ep 69) Sean Presant (ep 61) Stacy Rukeyser (ep 60) THANK YOU to Jess Fisher who pu…
 
Happy Holidays TSL Fam!!! In this greatest hits episode, we provide insight from some of our sharpest guests to help YOU create the most interesting, compelling, and ACTIVE characters you can. Today's show features insights from: Mike Jones Ed Solomon Sheila Hanahan Taylor Javier Grillo-Marxuach Stacy Rukeyser Nicole Perlman Sam Bain Enjoy! As alwa…
 
Today we feature of two of Hollywood’s most exciting up-and-comers, Caitlin Vukorpa and Zoe Cheng, who both have experience in writer’s rooms and agencies to answer all of the questions you’ve ever wondered about that path. Is it possible to do both? Will the experience help you in your career? Stay tuned to find out! --- This episode is sponsored …
 
Stephen Karam is the Tony Award-winning author of The Humans, Sons of the Prophet and Speech & Debate. For his work he’s received two Drama Critics Circle Awards, an OBIE Award and is a two-time Pulitzer Prize finalist. Stephen recently directed his first feature film, a rethought version of The Humans for A24 films, to be released in 2021. He wrot…
 
Emmy-nominated writers Shantira Jackson and Dewayne Perkins are some of comedy's most exciting rising voices, but their journey hasn't been a short one. From sketch shows in the middle of Idaho to writing for the WGA awards, Shantira and Dewayne break down their journey and offer incredible advice. --- This episode is sponsored by · Anchor: The eas…
 
Beyond craft, one of the most important aspects of building your career is developing emotional agility to really excel through the rejection and feedback that accompanies the creative journey. Today we hear from some of our amazing guests to hear how THEY have navigated through the process. Enjoy! --- This episode is sponsored by · Anchor: The eas…
 
Putting a project in the desk drawer to start something new can feel like a betrayal, but sometimes it's the right step. How can we elegantly move on, but still stay loyal to our beautiful calling? We discuss it today! --- This episode is sponsored by · Anchor: The easiest way to make a podcast. https://anchor.fm/appSupport this podcast: https://an…
 
Monique N. Matthews is many things - a producer, a respected screenwriting professor, a social justice advocate, but mostly, she's a brilliant writer. Dive down the rabbit hole with Monique today, AND make sure to catch her feature "A Holiday In Harlem" TODAY (Sun, Nov 14) on Hallmark!! --- This episode is sponsored by · Anchor: The easiest way to …
 
One of the most frequent discussions in our business is the discussion around achieving a work/life balance. Things get personal as Meg, Lorien, and Jeff share their own complicated relationships with this conversation, and how can we stay MINDFUL of the big picture as we pursue our work. OUR FIRST PATREON WORKSHOP IS WED, NOV 17! Sign up here!: ht…
 
Among many astounding achievements, Nicole Perlman wrote the first Guardians Of The Galaxy film, which many culture critics (and fans) consider to be one of the best franchises in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. That film is lauded for it's uniquely irreverent tone and engaging characters, and Nicole offers MANY strategies to get our own writing the…
 
WE DID IT. Join Meg and Lorien, and their wonderful audience, as they workshop with three very brave and brilliant writers to get to the core of their story in from the Historic Sanctuary of St. David's Episcopal Church at the 2021 Austin Film Festival for our very first live, in-person show. TO JOIN OUR PATREON: https://www.patreon.com/TheScreenwr…
 
Sam Bain is one of our industry’s premiere comedy writers, having co-created multiple beloved sitcoms including the UK’s cult hit Peep Show. But today Sam reveals that the most important ingredients for comedy are truth and pain. Buckle up!--- This episode is sponsored by · Anchor: The easiest way to make a podcast. https://anchor.fm/appSupport thi…
 
Longtime TV vet Sean Presant has an eclectic resume includes features, shorts, and TV in ALL genres from multi-cam sitcoms, to reality competition, to prestige crime shows. So how has Sean managed such an impressively wide variety of work? Is it really possible for us to "pull that off?" Sean talks about the signature themes in our work, how they i…
 
If anyone knows her way around a writer's room, it's producer Stacy Rukeyser, who has worked at every level from staff writer, to creator/showrunner. Stacy has a fascinating perspective on how the culture of a TV writer's room has both remained steady and changed wildly in her nearly 25 years in the business. Buckle up! --- This episode is sponsore…
 
Every writer inevitably faces this painful question somewhere along their journey: "why the hell am I doing this?" Today, we answer that question. --- This episode is sponsored by · Anchor: The easiest way to make a podcast. https://anchor.fm/appSupport this podcast: https://anchor.fm/thescreenwritinglife/support…
 
Enjoy the LIVE conversation from the MCX Screenmaker's Conference! For its seventh edition, the national MCX Screenmakers Conference program of panel sessions, case studies, in focus presentations and insightful conversations will be held online over two jam-packed days on 10 and 11 September, making it accessible to delegates from across the count…
 
All great works of art start with ideas, and ideas STILL reign supreme in Hollywood. In today's conversation w/ celebrated writer Matt Lieberman we discuss how to generate high concept ideas, come up with ideas, embrace the importance of a good idea, and even sell feature specs. Once again, we want to say thanks to our fabulous intern Jess Fisher f…
 
We've had some AMAZING guests on this show, but the truth is, one of our greatest secret weapons is Meg herself! Today, she dives into some of the MANY lingering questions that you all have been posing on the Facebook, and we get into it! If your question wasn't answered today, don't worry, Meg WILL be getting into soon. --- This episode is sponsor…
 
Most of us assume that once a writer sells that spec or books that job or secures representation, they've "made it." Now all they need to do is ride into the sunset and remember to thank their agent when their inevitable Oscar shows up. But of course, much like writer, it's much more complicated than that. Today, Meg and Lorien walk us through THEI…
 
We're back! Meg, Lorien, and Jeff have all been traveling, producing, and on set, and oh, do we have UPDATES. Lorien - who is now entering post on the project she SHOWRAN - answers all of your questions from what kinds of writers she's looking for in the room, and what her expectations for them are once they arrive. THANK YOU to our intern Jess Fis…
 
FOR MORE CREATE OUT LOUD: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/create-out-loud-with-jennifer-louden/id1559415253 What would it take for you to turn down an offer from JJ Abrams (you know the guy who created Lost among other block-busters)? Ask Meg LeFavue, the Oscar-nominated writer of Inside Out, who had to do just that after committing to her cr…
 
Writing isn't just about craft and science. It's about translating the highs and lows of being a human being into art, and that journey can be a roller coaster, whether you're an emerging writer or a seasoned pro. Speaking of seasoned pros, today, we ask them those tricky questions: what brings you the most joy about writing, what pisses you off ab…
 
Not only is Oscar-nominated writer Vanessa Taylor's resume impressive, it's beautifully varied. Vanessa has written on serialized network TV shows, high-concept prestige premium cable dramas (GOT anybody??), a YA novel adaptation, and even a creature feature love story w/ celebrated filmmaker Guillermo Del Toro (yes, we are talking about The Shape …
 
50 Episodes! How did we get here? Hard work EVERY DAY. Today, we're focusing on the day-to-day, minute-by-minute process of writing. How to we title our documents? How do we comb through our material? How do we edit. All of that gets answered today! --- This episode is sponsored by · Anchor: The easiest way to make a podcast. https://anchor.fm/appS…
 
Little Miss Sunshine's script, penned by our guest Michael Arndt, won almost every major industry award, and for good reason. Its warmth, humor, and surefooted commitment to its themes makes it one of the finest scripts written this century. And SO many of those themes show up in Act 1. Michael has become a bit "obsessed" with act 1's lately, becau…
 
To enter contests, or NOT to enter contests? Do I need to live in LA? What if I'm not your run-of-the mill white dude writer? What if I'm OLDER than my competition? All of these questions are answers, no-holds-barred, in today's episode where we take YOUR questions. --- This episode is sponsored by · Anchor: The easiest way to make a podcast. https…
 
It's a GREATEST HITS Episode. We've had such amazing guests, that we wanted to curate some of their best moments. Enjoy! 1:20 - John August on Important Rules For Worldbuildling (Ep 35) 6:09 - Marti Noxon on Writing Samples That Will Get You Staffed (Ep 40) 9:05 - Sheila Hanahan Taylor On Rookie Mistakes (Ep 42/43) 17:33 - Kemp Powers on When To “B…
 
Though best known as one of the Emmy Award-winning writer/producers of Lost, Javier Grillo-Marxuach is a prolific writer of television shows, comic books, movies, and the occasional critical essay. He's a master-storyteller, with a deep understanding of character, no matter how "otherworldly" the project. Today we're going to deep dive on longform …
 
Find yourself asking the question 'Why bother” when it comes to your writing? Creative people are asking that question now more than ever, but bestselling author and world-renowned creativity expert Jen Louden wants you to go deeper and really ask the question, really think about it. On today's show, she walks us through why it's important for us t…
 
Even though pop culture often draws artists as free-spirited goofballs that "go-with-the-flow" true artistry lies in the art of self-discipline, self-esteem, and BOUNDARIES. The truth of getting work done means being willing to draw boundaries in your own life, around your work, and around your ART. How will you draw boundaries this week? --- This …
 
This topic comes up ALL the time on our Facebook group, and finally, we have definitive answers, and LOTS of them. How long should my pitch be, what should it look like, what should it actually include. WTF actually is a DECK??? How can avoid nerves for a meeting, what is my responsibility during a general. A-List producer Sheila Hanahan Taylor has…
 
After decades working with writers in this business, Sheila Hanahan Taylor - A-List producer behind many beloved edge-of-your seat genre films like the Final Destination films - has brilliantly assembled a list of common mistakes she sees "rookies" make. And speaking of genre, Sheila brilliantly counters some of those condescending perspectives wit…
 
Feeling blocked, stuck, uninspired, or just BLAH? We're here to save the day! We were initially going to run an episode on boundaries (don't worry, we still will!) but a NUMBER of hurdles interfered with our ability to make that happen, so our intern Jess pitched a great idea to cut together a greatest hits "emergency" toolkit compilation to get yo…
 
Marti Noxon is a force in our business. Known for her sharp voice, social commentary, and darkly funny writing, all of which is tied together by a knack for complicated and richly drawn female characters, she's on TV's most important voices. She's worked on everything from beloved genre projects like BUFFY to prestige crime dramas like SHARP OBJECT…
 
Do you have a pen and paper? Might want to grab them now...Andrew Stanton wrote and directed Finding Nemo, Finding Dory, and Wall-E, all of which consistently rank among the best films of this century, and best animated films ever made. In live action storytelling, he's become a critically acclaimed director, working on shows like Stranger Things a…
 
We had SUCH a great tangent on last week's episode, that we wanted to feature this conversation as it's own short MINISODE. Do you have a great character want that doesn't feel URGENT enough in your Act I? We're almost SURE it's because you haven't created a clear enough problem for your character yet. Listen to find out EXACTLY what we need... ---…
 
What do Voldemort, Regina George, and Hans Gruber have in common? They're great antagonists, of course! Whether it's an action movie, a comedy, or even a contemplative drama, story needs conflict, and antagonists CREATE conflict, so we're going to discuss what makes a great antagonist today on the show. For NPR's FULL Coverage Of Die Hard: https://…
 
Emotionally rich writing has always been a Hallmark for both Meg and Lorien in their writing, and on today's show, we dig into the meat of what makes it work and why. TSL family member Savannah Morgan hooked us up with the London Screenwriter's Festival, and moderated an AMAZING interview w/ Meg and Lorien where they got into all of it. It's an ama…
 
Kemp Powers is a playwright, screenwriter, and co-director, and this year, he's one of the most talked about writers in our business.Kemp has not one, but TWO highly talked-about films in the 2021’s awards circuit, Pixar’s Soul (which he co-wrote with Pete Docter and past guest Mike Jones, as well as co-directed) and One Night In Miami, which he ad…
 
John August? Yes. THAT John August. We're thrilled to feature Screenwriting PODfather John August, famous for many things. Among them, award-nominated studio juggernauts like BIG FISH and CHARLIE & THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY, to his critically acclaimed Screenwriting podcast Scriptnotes, which I'm sure most of you already listen to. Today John is answer…
 
Emily Dickenson's poetry, The Girl w/ The Dragon Tattoo, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, these are all works we ALMOST didn't see because the authors ALMOST hid their work from the masses, and imagine the beautiful art we would've missed out on! Writing is all about being vulnerable and putting yourself out there...so why are we so afraid to do…
 
Anne Lamott is one of culture's most celebrated voices when it comes to creativity and writing. Her book Bird By Bird is a modern classic (Ed Solomon says it's the best book on writing ever published), but Anne is uniquely positioned as someone who is beloved for BOTH her fiction and her non-fiction. On today's show, we discuss the importance of fi…
 
Ed Solomon is one of Hollywood's most recognizable writers, who represents a rare intersection of critical and commercial success. His 16 feature films have grossed over 1.6 Billion Dollars at the Box Office, and he's the creator or co-creator on three of Hollywood's biggest franchises: Bill & Ted, Men in Black, and Now You See Me. But he'll be the…
 
Maybe your facing the blank page, maybe you're facing the second act, or maybe your facing your millionth rewrite; EVERY writer has hit that wall where there's nothing left in the tank, even though you need to get that car HOME. Where do you find inpsiration? It's in there, and Meg and Lorien are going to help you get there. Maybe you need some hel…
 
It's your turn! For this week, we've gathered some of our most frequently asked CRAFT related questions for a deep dive on how to fix, tweak, tinker, and elevate your writing. Tricky questions around note-taking, essential questions about beefing up conflict with things feel flat, and other crucial craft questions get their due today, thanks to our…
 
As a writer, you're in it for the long haul. And that's NOT a bad thing! It's a beautiful journey, filled with ups, down, highs, and lows, and it's made all the sweeter when you can SET your beacon! Remember, the road may be long, but it's worth it. --- This episode is sponsored by · Anchor: The easiest way to make a podcast. https://anchor.fm/appS…
 
The details of your writing are a beautiful thing. They provide the nuance, voice, and texture that make your writing special. But the details can be crippling if they prevent you from seeing your work as it REALLY is. Today we talk about how to see your work from a broad perspective, by Zooming out and getting that all-important "30,000 Foot View"…
 
Why is it so easy for us to love, trust, and nurture our characters, but so hard for us to do that for ourselves? Positive self-talk is an essential part of embarking on The Screenwriting Journey, and today, we get talk ALL about it! --- This episode is sponsored by · Anchor: The easiest way to make a podcast. https://anchor.fm/appSupport this podc…
 
Hope you had and are having an AMAZING Holiday. We're going to be doing something a little different for this week's show. Meg and Lorien are taking some MUCH-deserved time off (we hope you can too), but we had a little chat about content we could possibly run, or re-run to keep you going through the Holiday's. In 2018, Jeff brought Meg and Lorien …
 
There are many reasons Pixar Animation is culturally hailed as one of the most profound and emotionally resonant studios working in filmmaking today, but the deep, richly drawn writing is one of them. Today we answer YOUR questions with SOUL screenwriter Mike Jones about the overcoming the fear that accompanies any journey into writing, how to gene…
 
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